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How to Season Pinto Beans

Luscious thick perfectly seasoned pinto beans are easily in your grasp! This recipe for how to season pinto beans puts the POWER OF FLAVOR right in your hands! Learn how to season pinto beans with this quick guide!

PERFECTLY SEASONED PINTO BEANS ARE ALWAYS THE BEST CHOICE!

Everyone loves perfectly seasoned food and pinto beans are no exception! Simply following this easy guide for how to season pinto beans  and it will put you on the right track for perfectly seasoned pinto beans every single time.

A close up of the pinto beans in a dutch oven showing the pot liquor

HOW TO SEASON PINTO BEANS

WHY THIS RECIPE FOR WORKS

  • It’s EASY!
  • Anyone can do it!
  • This recipe is the right mix of smoky, salty, pepper and other in tune flavors.
  • Perfect EVERY single time!
  • You have some choices to make this your very own!

WHAT SEASONINGS DO I USE FOR HOW TO SEASON PINTO BEANS?

You will need to make sure you use the following:

  • Salt
  • Pepper

After that, we have a lot of choices.

A view from above of a small white bowl of pinto beans with a silver spoon and black and white checked towel

How to season pinto beans

IF YOU MAKE SURE THAT YOUR BEANS HAVE SOME ELEMENT OF THE FOLLOWING, YOU WILL BE ON THE RIGHT TRACK.

Salt

You can use…

  • Table salt
  • Kosher Salt
  • Himalayan salt
  • Sea Salt

Acid

  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Tomato juice

Heat

  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Sriracha Sauce
  • Hot Sauce
  • Hot Peppers

Fat

  • Bacon
  • Ham (Country ham doesn’t work as a source of fat here)
  • Hamburger/ Ground Beef
  • Fat back
  • Ham bone
  • Ham Hock

Umami (depth of flavor)

  • Chicken broth concentrate
  • Chicken broth or stock
  • Onion (powder or fresh)
  • Garlic (powder or fresh)
  • Tomato paste
  • Anchovy paste
  • Bay leaf
  • Sugar

Smoky Flavor

  • Bacon
  • Ham
  • Ham bone
  • Liquid Smoke

ADDITIONAL SEASONINGS TO CONSIDER FOR HOW TO SEASON PINTO BEANS…

Many people like the addition of the following seasonings to their pinto beans:

  • Thyme
  • Garlic
  • Majoram
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Cumin
A photo of a heavy cast iron orange colored pot for cooking beans

How to Season Pinto Beans

WHY IS SALT SO IMPORTANT IN SEASONING PINTO BEANS?

Without salt, beans can taste so plain that they are almost unbearable. The way to bring out the flavor is to use enough salt! Follow these tips when adding salt:

  • Add salt during the cooking.
  • After adding all of the other ingredients, taste the beans and then add more salt if you need to.
  • Take extra care to make sure you have the correct kind of salt.
  • You will use much less table salt than kosher salt. This recipe calls for kosher salt.

HOW CAN I SEASON MY PINTO BEANS WITHOUT SALT?

If salt is an absolute no no for you, then you will want to consider these other seasonings in learning how to season pinto beans.

  • Mrs. Dash
  • Morton’s No Salt (If you have to watch your potassium, this may be a no no as well, ask your doctor).
  • Spicy flavorings such as Cayenne
  • Onion flakes
  • Low salt tomato paste
  • Low sodium broth
  • Liquid smoke
  • Sugar

*** be careful of adding any pork to your pinto beans if you are trying to avoid salt. Remember that bacon and ham have a lot of salt already added to them***

Side view of a bowl of hot beans in a small white bowl with a spoon

How to Season Pinto Beans

HOW TO SEASON PINTO BEANS WITHOUT MEAT?

Simply use all of the seasonings listed in the recipe and instead of meat, add ½ a capful of liquid smoke and 1 Tbs of vegetable oil.

Consider adding a few of the other spices and herbs listed above for understanding how to season pinto beans.

A spoonful of seasoning that is ready to know how to season pinto beans

How to Season Pinto Beans

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR SEASONING PINTO BEANS (FAQ)

  • If you need to know ALL of the secret to perfect old fashioned pinto beans, I’ve got that post for you here.
  • What about canned pinto beans? No problem, I took care of that for you here:  How to cook canned pinto beans
  • Are you interested in just stovetop cooking? Great! Here is a post called “How to cook pinto beans on the stovetop”.
  • Put salt in your pinto beans while they are cooking, don’t wait until the end, it takes a LOT More salt to get them seasoned right if you wait till the end.
  • Pepper, while a mild heat, is more for flavor so please add black pepper per the instructions.
  • If you are a meat eater, you will want to add a more fatty piece of meat to these beans. A ham hock, ham bone, fatty bacon pieces, fat back or even a fatter bit of ground beef (don’t drain the fat) will work.
  • Country ham, while tasty, doesn’t add enough flavor because it really doesn’t have much fat.
  • You can add country ham, just supplement it with one of the other meat/fat selections.
  • Add the amount of seasoning called for in the recipe and then when you are finished cooking you can add more if you need to.
  • I really can’t stress enough how much the chicken broth concentrate helps. I specifically use this brand. You can get it in a vegetarian formulation as well. I purchase it at my local grocery in the broth and soups section. It is also available from Amazon ( the following photo is an affiliate link, if you click it you will go through to Amazon and can compare for purchase. Of course, should you decide to purchase, I get a commission which doesn’t change your price at all and I thank you very very much)

HOW TO SEASON CANNED PINTO BEANS

When cooking canned pinto beans, you will want to season pinto beans with

HOW TO SEASON CROCKPOT PINTO BEANS

  1. Soak the beans overnight in the crock of the crock pot.
  2. In the morning, pour off the water from the beans and discard it. Sort through the beans and remove any that don’t look right.
  3. Place beans back in the crock pot and cover with 2 inches of clean water and add garlic and onion (you don’t need to cook them first) and proceed with step 4 as listed above starting at “add the…”.
  4. Set crock pot on low and cook for 8-10 hours or until beans are tender.
A close up of the pinto beans in a dutch oven showing the pot liquor in how to season pinto beans

HOW TO SEASON PINTO BEANS

WHAT TO SERVE WITH MY PINTO BEANS ONCE I KNOW HOW TO SEASON PINTO BEANS?

I fully recommend the following menu with your pinto beans…

Southern Cornbread or

Southern Mexican Cornbread

MORE PINTO BEANS RECIPES FROM LOAVES AND DISHES!

The Secret to Perfect Old Fashioned Pinto Beans

How to Cook Canned Pinto Beans

How to Cook Pinto Beans on the Stovetop

Pinto Bean Soup

Info on how to save on seasonings? Right Here.

Would You Love to Cook the PERFECT Southern Dinner?

IMAGINE YOU, COOKING THESE! YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

Southern Sweet Tea

Served with (choose one)

Chicken Fried Steak or

Chicken Pie or

Marinated Pork Chops

And…

Pinto Beans

Southern Cooked Cabbage

Collard Greens

Add A little Yum Yum Sauce

Deviled Eggs made with this Easy Peel Hard Boiled Egg

And finish it all off with…

Banana Pudding!

 

I can’t imagine a better Southern Dinner than that!

YA’LL HELP ME OUT NOW, YA HEAR?

Please leave me a 5 star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  comment below in the comment section, all right? I would LOVE to know if you made this recipe or even if you are planning to! Of course, head on over to Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram and tag me with some photos of your creation!

I can’t wait!

Ya’ll know I love your comments!! ❤

 

A close up of the pinto beans in a dutch oven showing the pot liquor

How to Season Pinto Beans

This recipe is for perfectly seasoned pinto beans
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to season pinto beans, pinto beans
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 300kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz bag of pinto bean
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion - diced
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 4 slices of thick cut applewood smoked bacon
  • 1 tsp KOSHER salt less if you are sensitive
  • 4 tsp chicken broth concentrate
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp granulated white sugar

Instructions

  • Rinse the bag of beans well and remove any that look like they are past their prime. If unsure - chuck it.
  • Pour the beans into a large bowl and cover with at least 2 inches of water and allow to soak overnight. Alternately, you can boil the beans at a steady boil for about 10 minutes before you begin to cook them. Whether you soak or parboil, pour the water off from this step.
  • In a six quart stock pot on medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic until they smell really good and the pieces become translucent.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add the beans, bacon, salt, chicken broth concentrate, one bay leaf and sugar and enough cool clean water to cover the beans by 2 inches. (If you are sensitive to salt, then you can always decrease the amount)
  • Heat the beans on medium until they come to a light boil then reduce the heat to low.
  • Stir the beans occasionally and don’t let them get to a strong boil. Cook until done. I tell doneness by tasting - you could also spoon some out and smash it in your fingers. If it is smashy- through and through - they are done

Notes

If you need to know ALL of the secret to perfect old fashioned pinto beans, I’ve got that post for you here.
What about canned pinto beans.  No problem, I took care of that for you here:  How to cook canned pinto beans
Are you interested in just stovetop cooking?  Great! Here is a post called “How to cook canned pinto beans on the stovetop”.
Put salt in your pinto beans while they are cooking, don’t wait until the end, it takes a LOT More salt to get them seasoned right if you wait till the end.
Pepper, while a mild heat, is more for flavor so please add black pepper per the instructions.
If you are a meat eater, you will want to add a more fatty piece of meat to these beans.  A ham hock, ham bone, fatty bacon pieces, fat back or even a fatter bit of ground beef (don’t drain the fat) will work.  
Country ham, while tasty, doesn’t add enough flavor because it really doesn’t have much fat.  
You can add country ham, just supplement it with one of the other meat/fat selections.
Add the amount of seasoning called for in the recipe and then when you are finished cooking you can add more if you need to.
I really can’t stress enough how much the chicken broth concentrate helps.  I specifically use this brand. You can get it in a vegetarian formulation as well.  I purchase it at my local grocery in the broth and soups section. It is also available from Amazon

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
How to Season Pinto Beans
Amount Per Serving
Calories 300
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

 

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Recipe Rating




Deguello

Tuesday 17th of November 2020

This how we do it in Texas —

Aunt Florence' Pinto Beans

2 lbs. Dried Pinto Beans 1 lb. Ground Beef 1 medium onion 4 oz. can chopped green chilis Salt Pork, Ham Hock or Ham Slices 3 T. Chili Powder Lowry’s Seasoned Salt

Soak pinto beans over night or quick soak by bringing to boil and set for 1 hour in water ~ 1 inch over beans. Course Chop onion and sauté in small amount of oil until soft, add ground beef and brown. If over night method bring beans to quick boil, and then after either method (quick or over night soak) simmer with pork choice, browned meat, onions and chili powder & salt to taste. Pour off fat and add both onion, beef & green chilis* to beans (this step can be at beginning or middle of bean cooking step). Thicken with tablespoon of flour mixed first with some hot water if a thicker bean liquor is desired.

Wendi Spraker

Wednesday 18th of November 2020

Wow. That's interesting.

Emma Chapman

Tuesday 29th of September 2020

This is absolutely the MOST thorough article on cooking pinto beans, I have ever come across. Thank you. I am saving this one.

Wendi Spraker

Tuesday 29th of September 2020

Great! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Denise

Saturday 18th of April 2020

Hi! Do you leave the beans uncovered, covered slightly or completely covered when simmering? I’ve been having a hard time getting my beans to be dark in color. I always get them to a light color. They taste great, but look pale.

Wendi Spraker

Saturday 18th of April 2020

Hi Denise, I cook mine uncovered, but you can cook them covered, either way is fine. I'm wondering about your color issue and wondering if it is the beans you start with? I notice that some at the store seem darker than others? As long as they taste great, I think that is the most important thing.

Jen

Tuesday 7th of April 2020

This is going to be a stupid question but when you throw on bacon after cooking the onions is it already cooked? Can you just cook the raw bacon at the same time as the onions/garlic?

Wendi Spraker

Tuesday 7th of April 2020

Hi Jen, It isn't a stupid question. You can cook the back at the same time as the onions and bacon, that is fine. However, as long as you cook the pinto beans long enough to also cook the bacon, there's no problem.

Marilyn

Wednesday 2nd of October 2019

Love pinto bean soup but now I am in 4th stage kidney failure. Can not have the sodium. Trying to find a recipe that is edible. I need a plant based protein like bean soup. What is the tastiest soup with beans? Marilyn

Wendi Spraker

Wednesday 2nd of October 2019

Hi Maryilyn, I'm sorry to hear about your stage 4 kidney failure, that must be so rough. I'm thinking you probably can't have potassium much either so "no salt" substitute probably isn't allowed either. Keep in mind, I have no idea about your particular situation, but I would flavor my beans like this: Add garlic powder and onion powder (or onions and garlic), olive or vegetable oil, a small splash of liquid smoke, a dash of cayenne pepper, a small amount of sugar (if you can have it - like a tablespoon amount for a whole pot of beans - if you can't have sugar then when ready to serve a tiny amount of sugar replacement) and a splash of cider vinegar. Also - pepper. Hope this helps!

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